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  1. #1
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    Oops, I did it again new (to me) speakers (JBL S3900's)

    Well, new to me. Lovingly pre-owned..

    Just picked up some new to me speakers - JBL S3900's. I've always liked the dynamics a good horn speaker give you. I've not always liked (and I dislike it more as I get older) the brightness you get when you crank them up.

    I've been told by more than one person if I could check out the JBL synthesis stuff like the Array's and "less" expensive S3900/4700's etc, they might do the trick.

    Some S3900's showed up locally used and in 9.5 out of 10 condition. Gave them a listen and at the great price I was offered... what the heck.

    I've learned enough now to say I've found my "forever" speaker - that doesn't exist.

    But man these are dynamic, accurate, and not REMOTELY bright. I'm shocked how smooth they are, smoother than many soft-dome tweeters I've heard recently. I won't claim they are the utmost in resolution, but for rock and roll that's not always bad. While I don't often listen at over 95db's... that may change now.

    Will post more in the coming days and maybe some pictures, but have them crossed at 40hz right now with my SB13 Ultra, and I'm grinning ear to ear, this is how YYZ sounds when I go to a show.
    Last edited by green giant; 12-04-2015 at 07:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Some folks swear there is a type of synergy that goes on between power amps and speakers. In other words, not all amp/speaker pairings are ideal, and I assume because of the piece's "sonic signature".

    Have you considered this, when you talk about horns being overly bright at higher listening levels?

    Let's see some photos of the new addition.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Rainwater View Post
    Some folks swear there is a type of synergy that goes on between power amps and speakers. In other words, not all amp/speaker pairings are ideal, and I assume because of the piece's "sonic signature".

    Have you considered this, when you talk about horns being overly bright at higher listening levels?

    Let's see some photos of the new addition.
    I'll work on photos, eventually.

    So I'm one that believes speakers are 75% of the sound, the source and pre-pro 15-20%, and then the amp the rest (of course the room plays a HUGE Part). I think that amps voiced to be neutral, generally are pretty neutral.

    I've owned a few amps that I don't believe were voiced to be totally neutral, the Butler TDB amps are one, and that's OK. I believe they have a bit of midrange push and bloom if you will. I'm actually thinking with these speakers they might be a cool match and might try one again.

    I think more of the synergy between amps and speakers has to do with stuff beyond my comprehension - impedance curves of speakers and how they interact with amps etc. It's an entirely different subject, but it's one reason I believe active speakers can really be just killer (demo'd the Dynaudio Focus XD series last night, bookshelfs - DAMN they were awesome, but also 7k). But that's another story.

    That said, I need to work on these a bit more. Good soundstage, but not particularly deep, really like the dynamics and frankly musicality and realism of these, but it's only day 1. Need to work on positioning etc.

    and pictures...

  4. #4
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Yes, the speakers are the end of the audio chain and very important. The room, as you mentioned, I think is equally important.

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